Pueblo, Colorado is a bustling city that’s positioned where the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek merge. It’s one of the largest steel-producing cities in the United States, which is why it has earned the nickname, the “Steel City.”
Pueblo receives less snow than other prominent cities in Colorado thanks to its location on the “Banana Belt.” This means there are plenty of things to do in Pueblo Colorado year-round! This vibrant city retains plenty of its old charm, and is known for its cheerful residents, and flavorful green chili dishes unique to the area. But the city is most famous for hosting Colorado’s single biggest event every summer — the Colorado State Fair.
This Colorado city has a lot to offer — from historical sites, galleries, museums, and state parks, to river walks and zoo visits — no matter what you’re looking for, Pueblo has it.
Here are 13 amazing things to do in Pueblo Colorado that you don’t want to miss!
COOLEST PLACES TO STAY IN PUEBLO COLORADO
- Best Historic Downtown Option. The Abriendo Inn is a circa 1906 blond brick four-story mansion and one of the largest and most elaborately detailed Foursquares in Pueblo. The Abriendo Inn is within walking distance of the Rawlings Library, the historic Union Avenue shopping district and the Riverwalk.
- Best Family Option. Springhill Suites by Marriott Pueblo Downtown is another excellent downtown option that features an indoor pool and hot tub, and free breakfast, making this a great location for families.
- Best Budget Option. Candlewood Suites Pueblo is a bit farther from city-center (4.4 miles) but still central to many of our featured activities. It’s no-frills but highly reviewed.
HISTORIC DOWNTOWN PUEBLO
Historic downtown Pueblo is a great place to enjoy restaurants and shops — but its main claim to fame is that it’s where The Chile and Frijole Festival takes place every year.
The event headlines live entertainment, street vendors, cooking competitions, and chilies! This popular festival pulls Pueblo dwellers and visitors from around the nation. The festival has so much going on! Four live entertainment arenas, a Chili and Salsa Showdown, a jalapeno eating competition for the very brave, a pageant of cute costumed Chihuahuas, and — of course — Pueblo Chiles.
The Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival venue is spread out over ten blocks along Union Avenue and its side streets in Historic Downtown Pueblo and the Union Avenue Historic District.
Time your visit to Pueblo just right, and you could partake in one of two incredible festivals here. Each summer, the Colorado State Fair grabs the headlines of Pueblo at the city’s fairgrounds. And for enthusiasts of the town’s green chilis, schedule a Pueblo holiday for the third weekend in September for the tear-inducing Chile and Frijoles Throwback Festival.
The Pueblo Zoo is spread over 30 acres within the huge City Park. There are over 420 animals sheltered in the green fields and woodlands.
Take your loved ones and friends to Pueblo Zoo to see beasts and critters from all over the world. Meet gazelles, lions, vultures, prairie rattlesnakes, red kangaroos, Malayan sun bears, and so much more. This is the only place to see adorable red pandas in the whole state of Colorado.
There is a nice petting zoo with goats, chickens, a cow, and a giant pig for the younger crowd. Pack your lunch or visit the snack bar on site. Parking is free.
SANGRE DE CRISTO ARTS CENTER
The Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center was established in 1972 as a center for arts. You will find art galleries, performing arts, and the Buell Children’s Museum here (more on that below).
The Popovich Comedy Pet Theater at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center shows four-legged furry friends executing outrageous acts. Megastar Gregory Popovic will also show off his astounding juggling skills.
Build the foundation for a lifetime of wine appreciation when you take a wine class; examine wine and learn how to pair wine with cheese, bread, and delicious dining.
Students of art classes get to investigate a wide range of media and techniques. This includes drawing, painting, printmaking, and/or collages.
BUELL CHILDREN’S MUSEUM
The Buell Children’s Museum is found inside the Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center. It has been voted one of the top children’s museums in all of the United States.
Focusing on the arts, science, and history, the Children’s Museum facilitates a nurturing and scholastic atmosphere where children are free to assert themselves.
There are various themed galleries scattered throughout the museum. Visit the Sensations Gallery committed to teaching little ones all about the senses. At the Artrageous Studio, younger guests can make their masterpieces.
The Buell Children’s Museum provides a rare, hands-on setting where everyone can touch and become a part of the displays. Your child’s imagination and creativity will be sparked. Children of all ages and from all walks of life are welcome in the museum.
EL PUEBLO HISTORY MUSEUM
El Pueblo History Museum is a local history museum in Pueblo, Colorado. The property also includes a re-created 1840s adobe trading post and plaza. The archeological excavation site of the original 1842 El Pueblo trading post is also found here.
The El Pueblo History Museum portrays the history of Pueblo, together with the different cultural and ethnic groups of the region. Enjoy creative exhibits containing the Borderlands of Southern Colorado and the award-winning Children of Ludlow.
Tour its many displays and learn about outstanding women in history, the 1921 flood, local baseball teams, and the railway system. Find your way to artifacts, rural phones, historic sewing machines, old photographs, vintage clothing, and plenty others.
PUEBLO WEISBROD AIRCRAFT MUSEUM
The Pueblo Weisbrod Aircraft Museum is found on a former Second World War Army base from 1943. The museum pays tribute to vets and those who lost their lives in World War II.
Get the chance to view its enormous military vehicles and aircraft collections. You’ll find helicopters, jets, and even a few civilian planes. Be on the lookout for the vast B-29 bomber.
Make sure to stop by their gift shop too!
HISTORIC ARKANSAS RIVERWALK
The Pueblo Riverwalk is a riverwalk along the Arkansas River in Pueblo. The riverwalk was designed as part of an effort to lure tourists and businesses to the city. You’ll love the acres of water front views.
This waterfront plaza in Pueblo stretches for 32 acres and is famous for having the longest painting in the world! The brilliant mural spreads for miles and is a collaborative piece that plays up the work of artists from all over the world.
The riverwalk is a perfect spot to just sit back and enjoy nature. Go on a morning or late afternoon stroll, and for something a little more active, try exploring the biking trails that lead to Lake Pueblo State Park.
Uncover Pueblo’s history and the flood of 1921 while cruising down the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk channel in an excursion boat. Take in all the gorgeous pocket gardens, art installations, and historical tidbits situated by the Riverwalk. You can also do things like pedal-boating on duck-shaped ships, and stand-up paddle boarding.
LAKE PUEBLO STATE PARK
Lake Pueblo State Park was inaugurated in 1975 and sprawls over 2000 acres. It boasts at least 60 miles of shoreline and offers a boat-load of recreational opportunities.
Wildlife spotting and bird watching are also part of the package here. Be on the lookout for mules, deer, and rabbits. You will also see coyotes, prairie dogs, raccoons, beavers, badgers, and a host of snakes, lizards, and turtles.
Spend the day boating and fishing on the lake, which is every angler’s dream. Take a refreshing dip at the swim beach or try hiking, picnicking, or horseback riding.
Pueblo’s City Park was established in 1904. It is supervised by the Pueblo Department of Parks and Recreation.
The City Park has numerous shaded spots for picnics, a huge playground, a duck pond, a Frisbee golf course, and more. Have good old fun at the skate park or play sports like basketball, bocce ball, softball, and tennis.
For a reasonable price, you can go swimming in a crystalline pool, tour a zoo, ride a miniature train, and so much more. Parking is free.
The Steelworks Museum is positioned in the heart of the historic Bessemer Neighborhood. It is well preserved in the historic Colorado Fuel and Iron Company administrative building. The Steelworks Museum is committed to securing the rich history of Pueblo’s industrial past.
The Steelworks Museum has received recognition for being one of the top five industrial showrooms in the United States. The museum tells the tale of the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, the first steel mill west of the Mississippi River and dated from 1872.
Here you can discover the significance of industry in the Pueblo area. Coal mining, steel production, railroads, and labor history are well preserved here. The museum will take you on a trip back in time through the photographs and memorabilia planted all over the place.
STEEL CITY THEATRE
Steel City Theatre Company (SCTC- originally Southern Colorado Theater Company) was founded in 2001 by an eccentric group of enthusiastic, theater-loving entertainers, directors, and educators.
The Steel City Theatre is a way to commemorate the industrial roots of Pueblo. It is an ideal place to visit as one gets to experience the region’s theatrical talent in these parts.
The initial goal of SCTC was to produce interesting plays (mainly by American playwrights) that no one else in town was producing, pay entertainers and crew for their work, and ultimately create original works.
At Steel City Theatre Company, lives are transformed one act at a time. Through extraordinary, entertaining, challenging, captivating, and skilled theatrical productions and training, SCTC sets people on the path to success.
Shows are staged throughout the year. Peruse the local listings whenever you are in town. Expect musicals, Broadway plays, and regular concerts and musical concerts.
SAN ISABEL NATIONAL FOREST
The San Isabel National Forest includes more than 1.1 million acres and wraps around several counties. It was established in 1902 and is a well-known destination for outdoor enthusiasts.
The landscape here is breathtakingly glorious, calling attention to magnificent mountains, towering trees, sparkling lakes, cascading waterfalls, varied wilderness areas, and bountiful wildlife. There are many facilities here, like established camping areas, scenic hiking trails, and viewing spots where you can observe local wildlife.
Enjoy pastimes like boating, biking, and fishing when the weather allows it. During the winter, bundle up and go cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling.
Near Mineral Park, just north of downtown Pueblo, the Rosemount Museum is a three-story, 24,000 square-foot museum housed in the historic Thatcher House.
The Rosemount Museum was originally built in 1893 as a family residence. The villa served as a residence to three eras of the Thatcher family before it was given to the City of Pueblo in the late 1960s. Most of the home’s furnishings remain just as they did during the family’s residency, allowing visitors to experience an authentic step back in time.
Take one of their guided tours and see an assortment of artifacts, curiosities, oddities, and exhibits collected worldwide. You will also appreciate Rosemount’s exquisite craftsmanship, the Thatcher family’s history, and the Pueblo of years long gone.
The Rosemount is a popular venue for weddings and parties, because the veranda, carriage house, and well-manicured grounds are available for rental.
NATURE & WILDLIFE DISCOVERY CENTER
The Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center is a great place for kids to learn more about nature and animals. There are two locations for this amazing center, and the River Campus is in Pueblo along the Arkansas River.
Visit the Raptor Center during one of the two weekends a month they offer tours. The center is where they rehabilitate and treat injured raptors, before releasing them back into the wild.
The Nature & Wildlife Discovery Center is an amazing place in Pueblo where residents and visitors can hike, bike, walk their dog, or enjoy a cookout. They also host community events and educational programs throughout the year.
PUEBLO COLORADO FAQ
What is Pueblo, Colorado famous for?
Pueblo, CO is famous for having a steel manufacturing center which is why it’s known as The Steel City.
What food is Pueblo known for?
Pueblo, Colorado is known for its amazing Mexican food! Many different types of chilies are popular here and can be found in all sorts of awesome dishes. Don’t miss the The Chile and Frijole Festival here!
What is the top thing to do in Pueblo Colorado?
If you only have a short amount of time in the city, the top thing to do in Pueblo is a visit to the Pueblo Riverwalk. Cruise the channel, take advantage of the shopping and restaurants along the way, or take in a special event.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR VISIT TO COLORADO
- YOUR COLORADO VACATION
- COLORADO SPRINGS: 31 Delightful Things To Do In Colorado Springs
- ESTES PARK: 17+ of the Best Fun Things To Do In Estes Park
- FORT COLLINS: 15 Amazing Things To Do In Fort Collins, Colorado
- THE BROADMOOR: Two Luxury Vacations In One: The Broadmoor Colorado Springs
WHERE TO STAY IN PUEBLO
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